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#398576 - 05/28/12 04:13 AM What is life like?
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Asking 'normals' (people with no csa/asa), what is life like?
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#398581 - 05/28/12 06:40 AM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Well as a survivor (recovered) ITS REALLY GREAT MAN


Heal Well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#398594 - 05/28/12 12:24 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
I can't compare having not experienced it but I will share something my husband said pre disclosure that is now very telling to me. I don't like noise. I like quiet. I enjoy being alone w my thoughts. I ride in my cr without the raio and rarely have the tv on unless I am watching a show. I asked him how he could stand all the constant noise, he asked me how I could stand the quiet. I told him I like the thoughts and how my mind wanders and he said he didn't want the thoughts. He said something to the effect that he didn't want to leave room for anything other than what he forced in there. So for this "normal" (I can hear those who know me well snickering because I'm not typical or normal in any way other than I've not experienced CSA) it is contentment w my self, my thoughts, my pat and it used to be my future (working on getting that one back :-)
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#398613 - 05/28/12 01:55 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
I remember thinking about this in This topic

I know to myself and a lot of people here it seems that there is this magic thing called "normal" that most people have and sa survivers don't, but I don't really think that "normal" however it may seem is necessarily a positive state. there are lots of people who are "normal" who I'd never want to emulate myself in any way shape or form, sinse their lives just don't have the sort of creativity, freedom or openmindedness that I'd desire to cultivate in myself. People who as Sartre said are not "orthentic" who have lives that run in an expected way and always behave as a woman should do, or a man should do, or a resident of city x should do, or a police oficer should do. In fact always behave according to any lable that people have chosen to have for themselves.

while I'd love the sort of contentment that good hope was talking about, and while I've seen many people who have attained it at one time or another in their lives, some "normal" and some not, I don't think i'd ever want to give up being "orthentic" even for that.

Then again, even without the sa, I was never going to be a standard man on the street anyway, sinse not only do I have a disability that only one percent of the world's population have, namely visual imparement, but also I grew up learning to disregards all the sterriotypical things that "blind people" are expected to do, ---- especially the ones that refer to blind people as being part of a small cleaque and only interacting, working or having any real contact with other blind people, as in fact has happened to so many.

So, I was never going to be normal anyway.

At the same time though, there is a lot I miss through not being "normal"

I've always wondered what it is like to walk into a pub, sit down and actually have a vague chance that someone will speak to me, or have someone behave naturally when they first meet me, instead of me having to expend so much energy in getting them past the "whaaaa! he's blind" stage, which I do confess I sometimes feel quite resentful of.

This isn't to say that other people don't have similar issues to deal with of course, there are people with lots of different problems of judgement, from nrace to accent to appearence, I just sometimes wonder what it is like to live in a world where you don't have that.

While it is tempting for me, --- as indeed many interlectualists do, to look down on most people who count themselves as "normal" I usually find that if I can actually talk to someone, get to the core of someone they are a reasonably decent individual with a capacity for empathy, it's only when people start grouping together and deciding that others are outside that group that they tend to change, in fact if I were to pick a human tendency that has caused most evil in the world it's people's ability to say "we are in group x, you are not, therefore you are not as human as us"

Though equally of course there are bad individuals, who's "group x" ie, group of true human beings only extends to themselves.

So, while I wonder what it is like to be "normal" I'm not sure I exactly emvy that state, though "contentment" as well as certain experiences that most "normal" people stake for granted much of the time such as experiencing the two way communication called love I feel very jealous of missing.

if however some magic fairy offered to transform me into an average jo married to an average jane,with no sa, normal vision, a standard day job who did all of the things that British men do, liked his football, wanted a family, drank beer with the boys, watched celebrity tv and X factor, behaved like an extravert, ---- I don't think i'd say yes, for all that I've been jealous of such men's experiences of acceptance and love.

Luke.

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#398674 - 05/29/12 10:52 AM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
CSA and ASA are both life-altering, painful experiences, but at the same time a life without sexual abuse/assault is not necessarily without suffering. While I think each and every one of us probably lives with an inordinate amount of pain, it is not the only nature of pain humans experience and as such, I wouldn't necessarily typecast people who never went through sexual abuse/assault as "normals" just like I wouldn't use the word "normal" as a noun to label the man I was before the rape.

It's easy to walk down the street, seeing people enjoying life and not be able to see yourself as part of that world, especially when CSA precluded you from a happy, "normal" childhood development, or ASA called your masculinity and humanity into question.

One thing I have learned as a survivor is how to hide immense amounts of physical and emotional pain. I can't help but to understand that a lot of the people around me might be good at hiding their pain, too, and a lot of people that seem normal on the surface are carrying burdens of their own. And often times, the thing you can envy might be all that that other person has to hold onto, and I wouldn't want to take that from them.

I think we are all just as "normal" as everyone else in this world. We just went through stuff that no person ever should have to go through.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#398751 - 05/29/12 10:27 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: GoodHope]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
deleted


Edited by phoenix321 (07/16/12 10:47 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#398753 - 05/29/12 11:38 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Crux -- That's sound like religion I've heard before. "God wanted you to have a shittier time cause you can handle it" type thing. No offense, but that's ridiculous. Never heard anyone say, "I'm grateful I was raped...it taught me so much....I wouldn't trade it for the world." Of course, 'normals' carry burdens. Everyone does. Considering the landscape of CSA survivors with all kinds of health issues, psychiatric problems, little support, suicides (very high compared to non-csa/asa), druggies, alkies, etc., I don't see how it's beneficial at all.


What? I didn't say anything about God or why he allows suffering to exist, or mention any "benefit" to suffering. i don't know where you're getting that from the content of my post in this thread, which made zero mention of God or religion. Even if I were to discuss my views about God and why suffering exists, the ideas you claimed that I expressed would be dissimilar to my opinion on the subject.

I try not to bring up religion on this board unless the discussion is already leaning in that direction or if people are soliciting my opinions.

What I said was that there is no such thing as a "normal" and I do believe that sexual abuse survivors should get to be as "normal" as anyone else in the world. Who is anyone to say that we are not normal?
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#399020 - 05/31/12 03:37 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: CruxFidelis]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
deleted


Edited by phoenix321 (07/16/12 10:47 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

Top
#399043 - 05/31/12 06:41 PM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
I really chafe at the "normal" label because being I'm not a male survivor, you're assuming I'm "normal", and therefore have some kind of rainbows and lollipops kind of life. How I wish my feet landed softly onto a marshmallow rug in the morning! How I wish fairies twittered about my life removing ugliness from my path lest I dash my foot on it! I'd gladly take that label if it meant my heart would no longer break and my eyes would no longer shed tears! But, since that's not likely, I wish survivors wouldn't banish me to mere normalcy.

I am not a male who's been raped, but I am a human being who has experienced other assaults, hurts, injustices and pains. I have been ignored, disregarded and tossed out of situations in which I have devoted blood, sweat and tears for the good of the one who tossed me out. I didn't have phenomenal parents. I had parents who viewed me and my siblings as belongings to display when others were looking at our "wonderful" family, then put back on a shelf to be ingnored till next showing. I've been used and abused in ways that have affected my life, too.

Like every other human being on the planet, I have plenty of reasons for railing against the universe and God. Or do I?

What good am I to anyone (including my own self) if I am so preoccupied with nurturing my own woes. There's certainly no action I can take that will change my experiences. But there's plenty I can do to use my experiences to be a better person. My efforts to be a better person aren't always successful, but they do make me happy because they give my existence meaning.

I believe in God. I believe He despises the ugliness we visit upon each other. I believe He gives us exactly what we need to turn the bad into something good. But it's up to us to take and use what He's giving us.

One of my favorite movies, Evan Almighty, has a great line delivered by Morgan Freeman, who plays God. "God" explains that people pray for things, like patience, so He shows them opportunities to exercise patience because using the gift is the only way to have the gift.

Obviously, the line is more poignant than that, but hopefully it speaks to you. If for no other reason, the movie would make you laugh, which is something normals and non-normals alike do, so do rent/buy the movie!

Bottom line: You are living the very life "normals" are living. What it's like for you it pretty much what it's like for everyone else. You just have different opportunities for growth than I've had. And vice-versa.

(((Phoenix)))
herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#399109 - 06/01/12 07:14 AM Re: What is life like? [Re: phoenix321]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
Hero wonabe, I myself wouldn't necessarily claime that "normal" must automatically be this wonderful, positive thing or a life without trouble, but as I said in my alien lives thread, what I find myself absolutely unable to contemplate is that sense of belonging and expectation that "normal" people take for granted.

Partly I admit due to sight, i absolutely can't imagine what it is like for example to walk into any new group of people and expect to be treated as one of them, to be acknolidged as part of the group, or indeed to have my own status talents and abilities acknolidged in the same way.

I can't imagine for instance the word s/xy being a positive one, or to actually think "hay, i'll go and start dating because dating is fun", or to have any description of myself that did not include the word worthless, these concepts to me are as alien as imagining what it is like to have a bat's sonar.

That is the "normal" I assume, not necessarily a life without truble, indeed the taxi driver I talked to in my alien lives thread planely had troubles of his own as in fact do many people, but a life with a certain amount of expectations about how others will treat you and how they will accept you, with certain ideas about your own worth and about what you can expect from life, and a life with a level of acceptance where you think of yourself as part of some greater group.

Just as an example, whenever I've been involved in something like a theatrical production or when i was doing presentations at university, if someone praised the group saying "Everyone really did a good job on this" to me that always translates as "everyone else!"

It's as if the address to the group automatically doesn't include me, sinse i'm just not part of it.

to me, a good part of being normal would be feeling as if I actually belonged and was included in this "everyone"

As i said, there are things about inclusion and normal I probably wouldn't want. I remember when I was still living in colidge during my degree, I went to the bar and ordered myself a coctail, and a chap beside me said "why don't you have a pint!"

when I explained that I disliked beer, he said "you wouldn't dislike it after ten pints!"

When I asked why I should drink ten pints of something I didn't like, he responded "because your a man!" Which didn't seem the least important to me at all.

So that level of normal, doing something "Because your a man" is certainly one I probably wouldn't want even if I did have the acceptance, because of the business of being authentic, but there would still be a basic level of expectation and acceptance just from being "like everyone else" that even if I rejected certain aspects of it, would be there in part.

This is the bit of "being normal" that I miss myself.

As I said, I'm not sure how much of this applies to other survivers, but I'd imagine some at least does, sinse isolation seems a pretty common issue with any sort of sa.

As usual though this is just my thoughts.

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